Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why I Oppose The Budget "Deal"

As I write this, US Representative Paul Ryan making appearances on TV and radio to explain, sell and defend the Ryan-Murray budget deal that was announced yesterday. Multiple groups immediately announced their opposition, including Heritage Action and Americans For Prosperity.

While I do not have anywhere near the influence of these groups, I do oppose the proposed deal. I oppose it for one reason, because I believe that this is an attempt by the two party "establishment" to get the budget issue dealt with long before the January deadline, so that they can move on to other issues, such as granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. (Just a side note, this is an issue now, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would not allow the budget up for debate and discussion six months ago. We are talking about passing the budget for the current fiscal year, over two months into the fiscal year. And these are the people that some want to be in charge of our healthcare..)

That is not, however, the biggest reason that I oppose the "deal". I am opposed to this plan of action for one reason: it does practically nothing to control our runaway federal spending and reduce our national debt. Our national debt is approximately $17,300,000,000, or $17.3 trillion. The US government collected approximately $2,770,000,000 or $2.77 trillion dollars in revenue last fiscal year. If we stopped spending money on ANYTHING else besides retiring the debt, it would take us 6 years and 3 months. That is, of course, not accounting for the interest on the debt that would accrue during the 6 years.

Let us put this in terms to which most Americans can relate. John and Suzy Public are married. They have a combined income of $50,000 a year, and decide that they are ready to purchase a house. (Now, for the purpose of this example, I am using generalizations.) The couple contacts a bank or other mortgage lender to acquire approval for a loan. Given their income and credit score, they are told that they are approved for a loan of up to $150,000. That is, they can buy a house worth up to three years salary. The loan term is 30 years, during which they will re-pay the principal of the loan approximately 2 times at 5.25% interest, or 3 times that amount at 9.5% interest.

Now, let us go back to the government spending. Most of the spending of the US government is not being spent on houses, roads, bridges or other assets that could conceivably grow in value over the years. It goes to pay for food stamps. Corporate R&D subsidies, aka welfare. Payments to farmers to not grow crops. Cell phones. Medicaid. Medicare. Social Security. Salaries. Bullets. Fancy signs to re-name existing facilities in honor of someone. That is to say, it goes to expenses, not assets.

Basically, most of our federal spending is what individuals would put on a credit card, that is, it is un-secured debt that will only grow in cost as time passes. A nation may truly need to borrow money from time to time, in the event of war or massive national disaster. However, no rational, honest individual would believe that they could continue to borrow more and more money, spending 130% of their annual income as a steady, unchanging practice.

Because eventually, the bill will come due. We have the equivalent debt of TWO mortgages, and the hailed "deal" will add a THIRD over the next then years. The house of credit cards will eventually collapse, and financial destruction will be realized. National bankruptcy. Our dollar will be so devalued that Revelation 6:6 doesn't sound so outrageous: "Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "Two pounds of wheat for a day's wages, and six pounds of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"

Maybe another verse of Scripture is fitting for this topic, Proverbs 22:7, which says "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender." A fair amount of our Treasury bills that were issued to borrow the money for our debt are owned by foreign citizens, and even foreign governments. China is one of these nations. While some deny this, China is still seeking status as a world superpower. Recently, they have declared a section of the East China Sea as an "air defense zone", and is expecting all air traffic to identify itself to Chinese air defenses. From time to time, the Chi-Coms rattle their sabers about Taiwan, claiming that the island state is still part of China. Bigger still, they push as much as possible against our allies in the region, Japan, South Korea and Australia. So what?, you ask? Well, what if China were to tell the US, "We are going to send troops into South Korea tomorrow. If you take any action, we will dump our T-bills on the market and collapse your entire economy." As a nation, we are happily selling ourselves into slavery to other nations, corporations and ultra-rich individuals, like some crack addict who cannot conceive of life without an endless supply of his drug, in our case, wasteful spending.

But I believe that we are still missing the most important aspect of our situation. That is, we are neglecting to account for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Proverbs 13:22(a) tells us that "A good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children.." Instead of that, what are we leaving them? A massive, unsustainable debt that will eventually collapse. A series of chains that are controlled by our enemies and by the rich. We are selling THEIR productivity, rights and freedom so that WE can "eat, drink, and be merry", all as we kick the can of financial responsibility further down the proverbial road.

In a real sense, WE are making slaves of our own children. We are signing our grandchildren into slavery so that we don't have to make tough decisions. Even the Deist Thomas Jefferson saw this as an evil action, and a cause of great suffering. He said "It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world".

As a Christian, I cannot and will not place chains around my children's necks, nor allow any to be placed around mine. What about you? Will you continue to support the Washington DC status quo of deficit spending? Or will you stand up to the people who work for YOU and tell them "CUT SPENDING!"?

Friday, December 6, 2013

An open letter to Senator Thad Cochran

Senator Thad Cochran,

Today, I read with great sadness that you have decided to seek another term as one of the US Senators from the Great State of Mississippi. I had truly hoped that you would choose not to run, and to quietly retire out of public life.

As a productive, tax-paying citizen of Mississippi, I cannot and will not support you for any further public office. I am convinced that you are no longer worthy of the honor of serving me, my family, and my State.

Reviewing your actions, I do acknowledge that you have been on the right side of some issues, particularly some Senate confirmations. You did indeed vote against appointing Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. In addition, you voted against confirming Eric Holder as Attorney General, and Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of HHS.

Sadly, though, you have absolutely been on the wrong side of many Senate appointments. You voted to confirm both Ruth Ginsburg and Stephen Bryer to the Supreme Court. I repeat, you allowed two of the Justices onto the Court who upheld the PPACA, which is the most destructive and damaging piece of legislation ever passed by Congress. On top of that, you approved both former Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and former Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State. I cannot help but wonder what your vote would have been if Holder or Sebelius were current or past members of the Senate.

Regarding legislation, you have failed in that regard too. Back in 2006, you voted to legalize medical slavery of the unborn under the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. While you did vote against PPACA, you recently voted for the second cloture motion, the one that opened the bill for amendment and allowed Harry Reid to strip the defunding language from the House legislation.

Also, it seems that you view your primary task in office to be the securing the return of our own monies back from the federal government. Whether it be earmarks, pork, or guaranteed bases in defense appropriations, you are well-known to be skilled in that area. However, I do not want my representatives to fight to bring my money back from DC, I want my representatives to fight tooth and nail to cut spending, reduce our national debt, and ultimately reduce the overall size and scope of our runaway government.

Regardless of your conservative ideals and principles when you first went to Washington DC, I believe that you have been corrupted by the mediocrity of the GOP establishment, the arrogance of the US Senate, and the overall detachment and elitism of DC.

A review of your time in DC and national politics is truly stunning:
Elected to House in '72.
Re-elected to House in '74.
Re-re elected to House in '76.
Elected to Senate in '78.
Re-elected to Senate in '84.
Re-re-elected in '90.
Re-re-re-elected in '96.
Re-re-re-re-elected in '02.
Re-re-re-re-re-elected in '08.
Now, you are seeking re-re-re-re-re-re-election in '14.

Frankly, the idea that out of three million citizens in our State, you are the only person worthy of representing us in the Senate is absolute hubris.

As I said earlier, I had hoped that your retirement would preclude this situation. But, as you have decided to enter the arena again, I have determined that I must do all within my ability to seek your defeat. I had already been inclined toward Chris McDaniel, but now will be actively promoting and supporting his campaign.

On the topic of the primary campaign, I urge you to keep the discussions and ads about ideas and issues, instead of personal vitriol and attacks.

To quote our President, let me be clear: I do not hate you. Indeed, I frequently pray for you, that you will seek to represent our State with dignity and honor, while protecting and defending our Constitution, promoting freedom and liberty, and living in obedience to our Savior and His word. I will continue to do so, as long as you hold office. I will continue to contact your office to register my position on issues, and as always, treat your staff with respect.

But you, sir, shall never receive my vote again. Should you prevail in the primary, my vote will be cast for another candidate.

Michael Dunger
Olive Branch

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"It's for the CHILDREN!"

Those on the Left of American politics absolutely love to use children as emotional tools and weapons in pushing their ideology. 

After the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama floated this statement in his speech: "If there's even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that's visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try."

As a nation, our public schools produce very poor results. (While correlation does not always mean causation, there has been a clear pairing of the rise of federal involvement in schools and the decline of the effectiveness of public schools, all while the cost per student has risen.) Now, President Obama wants to expand our school systems to include public preschool care. All so the children can get the help and head start that they all need so desperately.

Of course, the biggest issue where children are weaponized is the topic of illegal immigration. Deportation is decried, because "we can't punish the children for the actions of the parents!" 

If that is the case, then we should set free every local, state and federal prisoner who has children!

Setting all that aside, the Leftists are only concerned about children when it agrees with their political agenda. The Left doesn't care about children when abortion is the topic. At that point, only the woman's rights, desires and voice are heard.

But the grand elephant in the room with this issue is the debt. The Left continues to desire to spend like drunken sailors that found a wallet with someone else's full collection of credit cards. Absolutely NO reduction of ANY federal program is even allowed for consideration. Apparently, the entire nation will collapse if we decide not to give people free cell phones. Or to pay farmers to NOT grow crops. All the while, we are rapidly approaching a $17 TRILLION dollar debt on a $3.5 trillion annual budget, and $2.8 trillion dollar annual income. That means that if we spent EVERY penny of tax income for the next six years, we STILL wouldn't pay off the national debt. Thomas Jefferson spoke about this almost 200 years ago: "it is incumbent on every generation to pay it’s own debts as it goes. a principle which, if acted on, would save one half the wars of the world;"

Our children, grand-children, great-grand-children and onward are being turned into slaves to pay for our current spending. We MUST end this insane policy of kicking the tough budget choices down the road, because the road is rapidly approaching a cliff which no amount of deals, wrangling or rhetoric will be able to overcome or avert.